(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 24 November, 2020) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon and Visayas. Tail-End of Frontal System (Shearline) affecting the eastern sections of Mindanao. Caraga Region will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm due to Tail-end of a Frontal System (Shearline). Possible flash floods or landslides due to light to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to North will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Press freedom ‘very much alive’ in PH: Andanar

MANILA — Media outlets in the Philippines currently enjoy press freedom under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Tuesday.

PRESS FREEDOM ALIVE. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday (Feb. 25, 2020) reassures that press freedom in the Philippines is “very much alive”. During his roundtable discussion with media in the United Nations, Andanar guarantees that there is no attempt to control the media under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo courtesy of PCOO)
During a media engagement at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, Andanar stressed that press freedom is “very much alive” since Duterte became President in 2016.

Andanar noted that the Duterte government has created an “enabling media environment” and a “safe space for journalists.”

“The Philippines enjoys a long-standing history of press freedom. This should attest that press freedom is very much alive in the Philippines,” he said.

His statement came as critics slammed the current administration’s supposed attempts to curtail press freedom.

Some have claimed that the alleged effort to block the renewal of local broadcast firm ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise, which expires on March 30, is clearly an issue of press freedom.

Andanar said the narratives against Duterte and his administration are “written out of context, some without basis, and others, outright lies.”

“There are a lot of stories criticizing the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, including issues regarding media information… It is our job to challenge and to clarify these inaccurate stories, and to simply tell the truth,” he said.

Andanar denied that private media companies are under attack.

He said the existence of baseless and false reports to discredit Duterte merely proves that Philippine media can freely exercise the freedom of the press.

“The fact that such articles, reports, and accounts exist, indicates that there is a free press in the Philippines — no censorship, no persecution,” Andanar said.

There are around 2,501 private media outlets and 34 state media outlets, as of 2018, according to the data cited by Andanar.

Protection of media rights

Andanar assured the Duterte administration is exhausting all efforts to protect the rights of the media.

He said the government sought the passage of the proposed Media Workers’ Welfare Act that will give media workers equal protection, security, and benefits.

“At present, the Duterte administration is now pushing for the passage of the (proposed) Media Workers’ Welfare Act in Congress, a bill which seeks to address the vulnerabilities of the media by uplifting their economic welfare, benefits, and skills, thereby creating an environment that is conducive to an empowered, independent and free media,” Andanar said.

House Bill (HB) 2746 or the Proposed Media Workers’ Welfare Act filed in July 2019 seeks the granting of mandatory additional insurance benefits by the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System, including death and disability benefits, and reimbursement of medical expenses.

HB 2746 also creates a Commission on Press Freedom and Media Security that will serve as media workers’ safeguard from all forms of attacks and as a development center for journalism.

To date, cases of media killings and reports of threats against journalists are being addressed by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, which was created through Administrative Order 1 inked in 2016. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/PNA)

Andanar tells foreign media: Press freedom vibrant in PH


By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar
(ALBERT ALCAIN /PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told foreign media organizations that there are no efforts by the government to censor or persecute the press, saying the government is open to criticisms.

In a roundtable with members of the media at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Andanar said stories that criticize President Duterte are proof of the vibrant press freedom in the country.

“The fact that such articles, reports, and accounts exist, indicates that there is a free press in the Philippines—no censorship, no persecution,” he said Wednesday.

“These narratives are something we expect. Our current administration is a game-changing one. But some of these narratives are written out of context, some without basis, and others, outright lies,” he added.

According to Andanar, the Philippines enjoys a long-standing history of press freedom, noting that there are at least 2,501 private media outlets compared to the 34 government media outlets as of 2018.

“This plurality of voices is vital in safeguarding our functioning democracy,” he said.

Andanar recognized that while President Duterte may openly criticize the press, he assured members of the media that the President will defend their right to criticize him.

“While the President can and will say what he wants, his actions speak much louder than his words,” he said.

The Palace official said that Duterte’s desire to protect the media prompted him to immediately issue the executive order on the freedom of information, and administrative order creating a task force on media security within the first three months of his presidency.

The former broadcaster added that the President likewise signed the law that expanded the coverage on the exemption of media practitioners from revealing sources of confidential information to include broadcast and online media.

Andanar also hailed the conviction of 43 individuals in the Ampatuan Massacre where 54 people, including 32 media workers, were killed.

He said the Duterte administration was also pushing for the passage of the Media Workers Welfare Act in Congress which seeks to address the vulnerabilities of the media by uplifting their economic welfare, benefits, and skills.

“This should all attest that press freedom is very much alive in the Philippines and that we have a fully functioning, impartial, and independent justice system,” he said.

PCOO sa UN-based media: Buhay ang press freedom sa PH

By Alvin Baltazar

Buhay na buhay ang press freedom sa Pilipinas.

Ito ang binigyang-diin ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) delegation na pinangunahan ni Communications Secretary Martin Andanar sa ginawang pagharap nito sa round table discussion sa UN-based media at human rights experts sa Geneva, Switzerland.

Sinabi ni Andanar na kung ang pag-uusapan lang naman ay kalayaan sa pamamahayag, matagal na aniya itong tinatamasa ng Pilipinas.

Patunay dito ayon sa kalihim ang pamamayagpag ng private media outlets na nuon aniyang 2018 ay nasa 2,501 na nag-ooperate sa bansa.

Di hamak na mas malaki aniya ito sa 34 na mga government media outlets na kung tutuusin ay nasa isang porsiyento lamang ng kabuuang media outlets sa Pilipinas.

Inilahad din ni Andanar sa UN-based media at human rights experts ang mga ginagawang hakbang ng Duterte administration upang maprotektahan ang kapakanan ng mga mamamahayag kabilang dito ang pagtatatag ng Presidential Task Force On Media Security.

Bukod pa dito ang pagsusulong ng pamahalaan na maging isang batas ang Media Workers Welfare Act na ang layunin ay mapaunlad pa ang kalagayan ng mga mamamahayag.